Do you ever feel like you have no time in your day to breathe? Do you ever feel you’re in constant motion yet when you look back at your day you wonder what you achieved?
Sometimes I feel this way.
The scary thing is, when I’m exhausted, it definitely affects the way I relate to my girls. I’m anxious, snippy, and overwhelmed by their demands.
Can you relate? Do you have moments in the day when you feel like you could collapse under the pressure of everything in your life? Are you weary? Do you wish you could send your children for a long afternoon nap?
Even though my children are 5 and 9-years-old, we still have a daily quiet time.
No, my children don’t curl up in their beds for a nap, but rather are given a small selection of independent activities that they can do during this time.
Here are some ideas so that you can easily add this peaceful time into your daily routine.Hey Mama! Do you need a break? Here are some ideas to include a rest time in your day. Click To Tweet
CHOOSE A TIME
Choose a time in your day for “quiet time”. Let your children know that at this time everyone will need to do quiet activities on their own. While circumstances may arise which prevent the quiet time from happening on a given day, it’s good for you and your children to know that there is a daily time for rest.
Your children may need to get used to the idea of quiet time. I recommend starting small (20 minutes / day) and then working your way up to an ideal maximum time.
I aim for at least one hour of quiet time per day. This usually allows me enough time to read, pray, and do a bit of writing.
MAKE IT SPECIAL
Let’s face it, quiet time can be hard for children to embrace. That’s why when you initially start this practice, you may want to have made some special quiet toy bags/bins for your children to choose from.
I’ve mentioned before that I keep bins of toys in reserve for desperate occasions. I recommend assembling some bins or bags that are used exclusively for quiet time.
Here are some ideas for what to include in your quiet time bins:
- Schleich toy animals
- Small Lego or Duplo baseplates with a selection of building bricks
- Puzzles (the Ravensburger brand are especially high quality)
- Melissa & Doug Flip to Win Memory Game
- Special colouring books and crayons
- Puzzle books
You could also have a set of laminated index cards with photographs of quiet time choices on them. Encourage your child to select one of the quiet time cards and to focus on their chosen activity.
HELP THEM BE SUCCESSFUL
I initially started quiet time by setting a timer, but I soon realized that it became a primary focus for my children. They weren’t engaging in or enjoying the quiet time because they were waiting for the timer to go off.
Some ways to help your children be successful in their quiet time is to have a sign that you put up on the inside of their bedroom door. A stop sign works well for this. If it’s used just at quiet time, it serves as a reminder that they need to be in their rooms, engaged in a peaceful activity.
END IT PEACEFULLY
When it’s time to come out of quiet time, plan something that you and your children can do together to peacefully ease out of it.
Perhaps you could curl up with them on the couch and read a book? Or you could do some gentle stretching exercises. Some other ideas include having a tea time, playing with playdough, or hosting a candlelit snack time.
By transitioning out of your quiet time peacefully, everyone’s more likely to carry their restful attitude into the remainder of the day.
WHAT TO DO IF IT DOESN’T WORK
I encourage you to be persistent. It takes time to build a new habit!
If you’re desperate for a quiet time and you can’t get your children to cooperate, then allow them to listen to an MP3 player of quiet music or play a calming show for them (I love Mr. Dressup for this)!
You need (and deserve) this quiet time!
YOU STARTED A HABIT OF QUIET TIME! CONGRATULATIONS!
Once you’ve started your quiet time, it’s time to celebrate! Occasionally brainstorm how you want to spend this precious alone time and carry out your plan. Maybe you could do some reflective journaling? Perhaps a mid-day nap is in order? Or maybe you would like to curl up with a good book and a cup of tea? Whatever you choose to do, enjoy this time that you’ve carved out for yourself!
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